Obed Watershed Community Association (OWCA) is a Crossville, TN-based nonprofit with the mission to protect and enhance the watersheds of the
 Obed River and its tributaries within Cumberland County, TN through community education, creating opportunities for community research and service projects, and promoting conservation, recreation, and best management practices.  It also supports activities in other nearby watersheds both within Cumberland County and surrounding counties.

 all activities and upcoming Events please continue scrolling!

 What a Year!

    For those of you that missed it, we had a great Annual Meeting and Ten Year Celebration on Friday, November 6th.  There was a special ten year slide show highlighting the many accomplishments that we have achieved together over the years.  To view the slide show, click here.  But the year is not over yet.  See below for a number of fun activities that you can be part of in the next six weeks, including our casual and relaxed Christmas party.  Finally, please consider a year end contribution to enable OWCA to continue its record of accomplishments into 2016.  May each of you have the best of holidays with family and friends.

Highlights from October

and early November

OWCA Booths at Trails Festival and Hispanic Festival well-received

    Saturday, October 3rd was a busy day for OWCA volunteers as they represented the organization at two different locations.  Denise and Ray Aquista represented OWCA at the Hit the Trails event at Fairfield Glade and had lots of engaging conversations about the environmental needs of that community and OWCA’s ability to participate in helping with solutions.     At the Hispanic Festival, June Zettelmeyer and Hugh Thomforde represented OWCA and fielded many questions about the organization’s work.  Both festivals provided lots of opportunities to spread the word about our organization’s work.

                  RECENT ACTIVITIES

Don Hazel of the Fairfield Glade trail group led the 2 mile hike that leads down to Daddys Creek and follows the river before returning to the higher parking lot.  It’s a great wooded hike with lots of wildflowers and diverse plants.  One of many that has been developed by the Fairfield Glade Hiking Club.

Daddys Creek Overlook Trail draws small group.
Centennial Park Workdays

      We had two work days in June.  At the first, we weeded and mulched the blueberry areas.  At the second, we weeded the area near the shelter, and did some weed-eating along the outside of the vegetation along the stream channels.  Thanks to Amy and Abby Steele-Wortel along with Jennie, Meg, Sydney, and Killian Diem for helping out with this.  Anyone who wants to adopt a part of the park to maintain is welcome to do so.  Let Dennis know and he can get you started.

Debris and Debris Dam Clearing on the Obed River and Spiers Branch

    The Stream Team along with a couple of volunteers spent much of June and July clearing tree tops and debris dams from two sections of the Obed River - below Holiday Dam and below the wastewater Plant - and the last segment of Spiers Branch below Deerfield Dr.  Altogether, five complete debris dams and seventeen partial debris dams were removed.  In addition, thirteen revetments were installed on eroding banks and one large rock vane was constructed.  This work completed the 319 contract with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture that included the Little Obed Genesis project.  Thanks to Scott Collie, Christina Burgess, Donavon Phillips, and Jamarcus Pelcher who worked with Dennis, along with volunteers Aston Burgess and Adron Damron-McNally.

    Most of this material removed was a result of the ice storm in February and removing it prevented unnecessary bank erosion as the stream would have cut new paths around the obstructions.  These three stream segments were originally worked on in 2010 and 2011 and it was gratifying to see that all the original work continues to provide stabilization to the banks in these areas.

Wetland Visit Leads to Repair Project

    On our visit to the OWCA wetland in conjunction with the Frog and Toad workshop in April, we noticed that there had been significant erosion of the outlet of the upper wetland.  The bottom had eroded behind the dam structure and was moving upstream, lowering the water level in the wetland and potentially recreating the original stream channel, leaving the wetland dry.    After obtaining permission from TDEC to make the repairs, rock was brought in to build a new rock structure designed to restore the original water level.  Over three tons of stone were placed by hand to create the structure as well as a number of loads of sandstone gravel to fill the spaces between the larger rock.  With the help of Scott Collie and Eli Lester, Dennis was able to construct the new grade structure in five days.  We’ll be monitoring its performance through heavy rains.

Stone Elementary Nature Trail

    Thanks to the outreach efforts of Annell Fields, the long discussed addition of a nature trail at Stone Elementary School took a great leap into reality in May.  Dennis, Scott Collie, Taneesha Dutchover, and volunteer Christina Burgess laid out and cleared a trail that runs to and along one of the creeks, a tributary to the Little Obed, that runs through the school property.

After a couple days of clearing, Annell was able to conduct a couple of nature enrichment sessions with three different classes of students, introducing them to the stream, the trail, and her pet corn snake.  The second grade class also participated in the planting of a tulip poplar tree near the parking lot of the school.  We hope to continue working with the teachers and the school PTO to develop the trail as an educational focus for the school.     


Staff Member Angela with a turtle in Centennial ParkFormer Staff Member Angela with a Snapping Turtle in Centennial Park. 

October Stream Clean-ups

Saturday, October 17, 2015

  Two groups came out on Saturday October 17th to clean up streams in Crossville.
The Cumberland County Democratic Party brought eight volunteers to clean up the streams and drainageways in Centennial Park.  We were pleased to see that the park has been doing a lot of little pickup as part of their regular maintenance so there was less to pick up this time.  The park looks beautiful.
Twenty Roane State Community College students came out and did clean-ups on two stream sections.  They started with cleaning up the tributary to the Little Obed that runs parallel to the interstate.  They cleaned-up a half-mile of that stream.  With their numbers they made quick work of this and then headed to the Crossville Wastewater Plant and cleaned up a segment starting 100 yards upstream of the plant and then running over one quarter mile downstream.  They filled four large trash bags, retrieved three tires and some other large objects.  Both streams say "thank you."
A very productive day for both groups.  This shows the power of volunteers!

Annual Meeting and Tenth Year Celebration

6:00 p.m. Friday, November 6, 2015

Forte’s Restaurant on the Courthouse Square

    As a membership organization, OWCA has an annual membership meeting at which the Board of Directors and Officers are elected.  In previous years, we have had a speaker and a potluck supper following the elections.  Because this annual meeting marks the completion of ten years of the organization’s life, we felt the need to do something special.  We will be meeting at the upper room in Forte’s restaurant and they are offering a limited menu of chicken, salmon, or primavera pasta (vegetarian).  Bar service will also be available.  Because this is a membership meeting, you are not required to buy food or drink to attend, but we wanted to offer this as part of this special occasion.  Dennis is putting together a slide show of the past ten years.  If you have memories or photos you want to share, give him a call at 484-9033 after October 11.  We will have social time from 5:30 to 6:00, our business meeting from 6:00 to 6:15, which includes elections and awards,  and then dinner followed by a program of reflection of where we’ve been as well as some challenges for where we want to go.  While reservations are not required, please contact June Zettelmeyer at 931-788-5022 or Dennis at 931-210-3611 to let them know so we can give the restaurant an idea of how many people will be eating with them.  We hope to have a full house! 





  • Posted Sep 4, 2013, 10:10 AM by Angela Damron
  • Upcoming Activities and Event Dates - October/November 2015!

     October Activities

    5K Keep it Clean and Fun Run
    Saturday October 10
    9:00 a.m. Cumberland Mountain State Park

         Don't miss this great fun event and OWCA fundraiser.  Registration information is on home page

    November Activities

    Annual Meeting and 10th Year Celebration

    Friday, November 6
    6:00 p.m.  Forte's Restaurant
    (on the Courthouse Square)

        OWCA was founded in 2005 so we're taking this year to celebrate.  We'll still conduct the important business of electing board members and officers, but we're going to take time to both look backward and forward.  Dennis is putting together a presentation on the first ten years and we'll invite others to share reflections as well.  We're also going to ask our members to both dream and plan together for next year and the future.  Please come and participate.

        We've decided to meet this year at Forte's.  Both the restaurant and the bar will be open for ordering, but you don't need to order anything to participate in our Annual Meeting.  

    Board Nominations Sought

         We have openings for Board members, so if you would like to be nominated at the Annual Meeting, please let Bill Morgan know.  If you have been thinking about raising your involvement in the organization to the next level but have questions about the commitment, call Bill Morgan to discuss the expectations for Board members. Bill’s number is 456-9040.   

    WaterFest Website:  crossvillewaterfest.org   There is a great collections of photos from our great 2015 edition of WaterFest

     Amazon Shopping Link

    Amazon’s program to help non-profits continues all year.  If you’re going to make seasonal purchases through Amazon, help OWCA by using the link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/72-1594762


         The OWCA Board includes Bill Morgan (President),  Mary Lou Matteson (Treasurer), Hugh Thomforde (Secretary), Matt Matteson, Robert Safdie, and Denise Aquista. 

    OWCA sponsors are CoLinx, VEC Customer Share, MTNG Hometown Help, Manchester Tank,  Silvara Stone, Crossville Friends Meeting, Veolia Water NA, Tennessee Heart, Cumberland Medical Center, EcoTravel Plaza, Stonehaus Winery, FirstBank, Highland Federal Savings and Loan, and Cumberland County Bank. 

     OWCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization.  Tax deductible contributions can be sent to OWCA, 184 Hood Dr. Crossville, TN 38555.  Dennis Gregg is the Executive Director and can be reached at 484-9033 or 210-3611.

    405 4th St

    Posted Sep 9, 2015, 8:39 PM by Dennis Gregg
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